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Strong winds blow up dust on a Kenyan road. Photo: Courtesy

How to stay safe when strong winds and waves hit.

The Kenya Meteorological Department has on Wednesday issued an alert that 15 counties in the country might be hit by strong winds and waves.

Strong winds and the high waves are known to some extent to leave a trail of destruction and sometimes loss of lives may be experienced.

The Met department has advised residents of the affected 15 counties ( Marsabit, Turkana, Samburu, Mandera, Wajir, Isiolo, Garissa, Kitui, Makueni, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Lamu, Kilifi, Mombasa and Kwale) to be on high alert warning that the winds may leave a trail of destruction.

“Strong winds may blow off roofs, uproot tress and cause structural damages. Very high waves may lower visibility, cause capsizing of boats and threaten the safety of those engaging in water sports and recreational activities”, the alert read in part.

But how else can Kenyans in the areas expected to be hit by the strong winds stay safe and out of harms way?

Below we highlight some tips on how to be safe and what to do during high and string winds.

Property is replaceable, but life is not and hence the reason to ensure that your family and yourself are safe until the strong winds die down

  1. If you have a smartphone, download a weather app so that you get alerts and know when to move indoors
  2. Avoid sitting near windows and ensure they are closed
  3. If you are outside, stay face-down in a ditch or low-lying ground, with your hands clasped behind your head
  4. If you are driving, reduce speed and keep a lengthy distance from other cars. If winds make driving difficult, consider pulling onto the shoulder or into a parking lot and remaining in your vehicle while you wait for the winds to diminish.
  5. If you notice downed electricity poles or damaged electrical equipment, do not touch; report it to the relevant authorities
  6. Children should always be indoors when there are strong winds
  7. If you have a car, park it in an area that has a roof if possible

You are also advised to plan ahead by trimming tree branches that may pose danger; scheduling a professional to inspect your roof and sealing any cracks around windows and doors.

You should also prepare an emergency kit and keep your compound clear of loose objects and debris that may be blown against your house.